Voting absentee from abroad always reminds me of my American roots and how far away from my "homeland" I am.
Mailed off my ballot yesterday; I like to give it plenty of time to reach it's destination. I nostalgically googled "I voted sticker" and found that FVAP (Federal voting assistance program) that helps people voting form overseas actually has a "sticker" for me.
I'm not an American expat but I am an expat and to me I don't feel I have any right to vote back at "home" anymore since I left the country and what happens there is none of my business nor does it affect me anymore. (if I intended to return it would be different) And the British government agrees with me, you get 15 years of voting rites after leaving the country. so in 8 years I will not be eligible to vote in national elections anywhere.
Technically I could vote in the Scottish independence ref and I will be able to vote in the next one as well, but that would just be wrong in my opinion.
I've put a lot of thought into how I feel about voting in a country I don't live in right now, or maybe ever again.
Of course every country is a little different and will have a different relationship with any other country. As a US citizen living abroad, I still have to file taxes, and over a certain amount of income, pay taxes. In some cases, I would still be paying into social security, but Japan has a reciprocal agreement with the US, so my payments here count there. I'm required to give my social security number when opening a bank account here. So my home government still effects my finances.
The US and Japan have a close relationship such that my vote in US elections could have a significant effect on my daily life here in Japan. Examples would be trade, TPP, the US military presence and many (I think 23) military bases still here, climate legislation, my ability to visit the US and bring my Japanese spouse.
Not to mention most of my family still lives in the US. I will eventually probably inherit a house and land in the US and pay taxes on it. The US government doesn't care how long you are away or even if you have dual citizenship in another country, you keep your voting rights. Japan is a little more strict. If I were ever to become a Japanese citizen, I would have to renounce my US citizenship. But that would be many years from now, and I think it's like 2 or 3 thousand dollars just to renounce citizenship.
I think voting in your birth country while living abroad is something each expat has to think through and decide for themselves.